Data driven decisions: what adult social care leaders can learn from using data

social care

While it is clear that empathy, communication, and instinct are important traits for a leader of social care, there are other characteristics that can make them great leaders. Data can also be a key component.

A successful strategy can be made easier by using data to analyze results, identify future problems, and make decisions. Skills for Care is committed to ensuring accurate and comprehensive data are available to support adult social care.

Working closely with the Department of Health and Social Care, our Adult Social Care Workforce Data Set (ASC-WDS) is the leading source of workforce information for the adult social care workforce in England and there’s currently over 19,000 care providers using the service.  

These data are obtained directly from social care employers who use the online service.

ASC-WDS allows providers to compare themselves to other providers in their locality on metrics such as turnover, pay, and sickness rate. This will allow them to determine how they are doing. To make these benchmarks, you can sign up for ASC-WDS. Our explainer video explains the benefits to your business of ASC-WDS.

All decision makers, including those in the workforce intelligence section, can access the data insights available on our website.

The Department of Health and Social Care, local governments, the CQC and Integrated Care Settings make informed decisions about the care sector. These include vaccine rollouts and increasing the National Living Wage. Understanding the age breakdown of workers in the sector and promoting adult social work as a career.

Access to data is crucial for leaders to be able to make informed decisions. What can social workers learn from data? Learn more below.

Analyse pay rates within the sector

Data can be used to help you structure your wages. Employers can see the average social care sector pay rate, as well as the main service type, the specific roles, and the different local authorities.

This insight allows you to compare your pay rates with others in the sector.

See how your turnover rates compare to other care providers

Social care workers can have a difficult time determining the average turnover rate. Employers of social services should be able to use benchmark data to help them assess their turnover rate in comparison to other providers.

It is important to understand your turnover rate in order to make recruitment and retention decisions. You can also introduce new processes like values-based recruitment to help you find the best people for your organization.

Get insight into different roles across organisations

Data can help you assess your organization’s structure and pinpoint areas where you might be able to introduce new skills and roles.

Analyzing similar organizations can be helpful in making decisions about adding a role, training staff or changing the organisational structure

Understand the demographic make-up of the sector

Your organization will be able to offer the highest level of care by having a diverse workforce that understands and represents the people it supports.

You can use demographic data to gain a clear understanding of the makeup of your organization and compare it with the rest of the sector.

These insights will help you to create workplace policies that promote equality and diversity in recruitment.

Know what will be needed from the sector in the future

The key to identifying and securing future needs in the social care sector is workforce projection data. We can use ASC-WDS data to create workforce projections. These allow us to understand the magnitude of the challenges that we will face as we move ahead. This information allows us to plan for the future by planning now.

Our workforce models indicate that we will need 2.17 million social workers by 2035 if the workforce of adult social workers grows in proportion to the population 65+. This is an additional 600,000.

This foresight allows everyone in the sector to plan for their future. It helps us all be prepared for what lies ahead, train and develop the future workforce, and promote social care careers.


Being a leader in a crucial sector like social care can be challenging. However, using data to determine what works and what needs to change and where growth opportunities exist is a great way to help you become more effective and confident.


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